Kids love to have permission to go a little wild, and jungle cooking activities are a way to have some wild, but under control, fun in the kitchen. Keep the theme going for a party, activity play date or just a fun afternoon with your own children, and let them help make the connections to jungle life, animals and foods.
Jungles are full of vegetation, and fresh fruits are a great jungle food to prepare with your children. Add to the wild, jungle theme by buying a few fruits that you don't always eat, such as star fruit or kiwi. Make fruit kebabs with wooden skewers. Clip the sharp ends for young children. Cut chunks of fruit such as cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, and bananas. You can vary the fruit with chunks of soft cheese. Remind kids of how much jungle animals such as monkeys love fruit. As a dessert, try a "fruit pizza." Use a brownie or sugar cookie as a crust and spread with softened cream cheese with sugar added or simply use whipped topping. Arrange the child's favourite fruits in patterns on top. Strawberries, grapes, kiwi and bananas are best for this dessert - avoid very juicy fruits like melons.
Use your imagination and make the connection from discussions you have about jungle animals and their habits to some fun foods you make. After discussing anteaters and the huge hills ants build in the jungle, use dried raisins or cranberries to make ants on a log with peanut butter and celery topped with "ants" which your children can eat like an anteater. Use a bowl of grapes as "snake eyes" and a bowl of crisps as crunchy "beetle's wings." Slicing hot dogs into thin strips is an easy task that a child can do with a table knife. Boil the strips and you have curly "worms."
Make your lunch into a jungle adventure with jungle-themed sandwiches. Make a long sub sandwich into a snake by cutting it into finger-width portions, arranging them in snake patterns, and adding olives for eyes and a red pepper tongue. Have fun with a sandwich a monkey would love by using peanut butter and sliced bananas. Make a crocodile "sandwich" with large pretzel sticks, peanut butter, and apples cut into triangles for crocodile teeth.
Treats and Cakes
Make fun jungle themed desserts with cakes and candies. A jungle snake is easy to create with two cakes baked in Bundt pans. Cut each cake in half then connect them in a wavy pattern. Frost with green frosting and decorate with rope liquorice, candy buttons or wafer candies. Make a tiger cake by using a round cake for the face and two cupcakes for ears. Frost the cake in orange, then use chocolate frosting to make stripes. Green candies make eyes and black liquorice strings are whiskers. Use your imagination and chocolate cookies to add accents.